In our last editorial piece, we opined that the term ‘brain drain’ goes beyond the mere exodus of a country’s intellectuals to foreign lands for greener pastures.
To us, brain drain includes the failure of a people to adequately tap the talents of its citizenry, whether they travel out or not; and cited the late Professor Francis Allotey, the Ghanaian mathematician and scientist who formulated the technique used to determine Matter in Outer Space, and Nana Kofi Drobo III, the herbalist and high priest of the Kwaku Fri Shrine, who was murdered just as he was about to launch his new-found cure for HIV/AIDS.
Today, even as we mourn the passing of our illustrious sons like Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, J. H. Mensah, Busumuru Kofi Annan and Justice V.C.R.A.C. Crabbe, THE PUBLISHER once again wishes to remind Ghanaians about the countless silent inventors, whose works either remain marginalized or are unsupported.
The first of such living geniuses is the Kantanka Group which is making vehicles, electrical devices like TVs and sound systems, musical instruments and sewing machines in a country with virtually no history of manufacturing.
Today, the company has vehicle models like the Kantanka SUV, Omamma, Odeneho, Mensah Saloon, Nante Yie, K71 and Okatakyie on our roads.
Asidu Abudu is another talented but little-known Ghanaian inventor. He doesn’t hold a degree from MIT or any of the world’s top universities, but has created everything from food vending machines, vehicle tracking devices and fufu pounding tools.
There is also Professor Nicholas Ossei-Gerning, an interventional cardiologist who successfully operated on a dying friend in a makeshift theatre and saved his life; Dr Ave Kludze, a rocket scientist and senior NASA Spacecraft systems engineer; and Dr Ashitey Trebi-Ollenu, a robotics Engineer at NASA and leader of a team that designs robots for NASA missions.
We can also mention Prof. Nii Narku Quaynor, a scientist and engineer who has played an important role in the introduction and development of the Internet throughout Africa; Dr Thomas Mensah, the Ghanaian-born chemical engineer and inventor whose works earned him seven worldwide patents in Fiber Optics; Her Ladyship Justice Mabel Maame Agyemang, an expert superior court judge who became the first female Chief Justice of The Gambia, and Ozwald Boateng, an international fashion designer.
Others include public speakers, educators, child geniuses, ‘memory banks’ and entrepreneurs.
It is, however, heart-bleeding to hear what a leading member of the Kantanka Group recently told the media:
“One of our biggest challenges is getting customers to believe in Made in Ghana. We have delayed going commercial because people have the perception that once it is from Ghana, it is not good.”
THE PUBLISHER thinks it is high time we disabused the minds of our people by embarking on a national self-wakening renaissance for citizens to kick start their confidence in the quality of goods made by our people.
We insist that brain drain is still ongoing on the blind side of many Ghanaians because we have limited understanding of the crisis to only those who travel out of the country, and call on government and stakeholder to do everything to tap more from these talents before they pass on.